“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because
they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche~
The other evening I re-watched the DC Comics film, Man of Steel; starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman. In the realm of superhero films this film is what’s known as an origin film; meaning it shows how the particular character obtained their superpowers. But this film is much more than that; it is a film about self-discovery.
You see, Clark was raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent on a farm in Kansas; and for a good portion of his young life he believed he was their biological son. It was only when he was told he was found in a space capsule that he learned the truth about himself; with the admonition from his Earthly father that he owed it to himself to discover where he came from and why he was sent to Earth.
I’ve probably watched this film a half dozen times now, but this time something in it stuck in my head and began to fester; fomenting the basic idea for this commentary. What stuck in my mind was when Clark discovers the scout ship and encounters the computerized persona of his father; Jor-El. Clark asks him why they didn’t accompany him to Earth in the space capsule, and it is Jor-El’s response that got me to thinking, “Your mother, Lara and I, were a product of the failures of our world as much as Zod; tied to its fate.”
Jor-El sent his son, Kal-El, to Earth alone so that he could get a fresh start; begin with a clean slate so to speak; free of all the prejudices, biases, and failed beliefs of his home planet Krypton. Even if Krypton had not been doomed to destruction if Kal-El had been raised there he would have been indoctrinated into all the beliefs that had led Krypton to fail as a society; so he sent him off to Earth to seek his own path in life; and possibly be a beacon for good on Earth.
The reason this particular scene stuck in my mind is that I believe that the same sentiment can be expressed about the current state of affairs in America. I think the grand experiment in self government and a country based on the principle of individual liberty has failed; and failed miserably; and that there ain’t a damned thing we can do to reverse the damage.
In July, 1775, while serving on the Continental Congress, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife who had remained back in Boston to care for their children. In this letter Adams told his wife, “Liberty once lost is lost forever.” I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Adams; and I’m inclined to believe that liberty has already been lost in this country.
I think too many people believe that as long as we don’t have a bunch of jack-booted thugs, ala Hitler’s Gestapo, running around asking for papers that they still have liberty. After all, they are free to find the job of their choosing, (that is if there are any jobs available); they are free to go home and eat whatever they want, watch whatever they want on TV, or go anywhere they want on vacation. So yeah, we must be free…right?
If your thoughts, or the things you are free to say are censored because others find what you say offensive, then you do not have liberty. George Washington once said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
I don’t think it was a coincidence that the protection guarding the freedom of speech is found in the first of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights; followed by the right to keep and bear arms; which gives people the ability to raise up an armed society against those who would deprive us of the freedom of speech.
Yet in the America of 2018 what has become of freedom of speech? How can anyone say that we have it when certain things can be deemed as hate speech; even if they are factually accurate? How can we say that we have freedom of speech when some people refuse to accept facts and choose to base their arguments upon lies? I sometimes feel that having a political discussion with people today is akin to two foreigners trying to hold a conversation; with each of them speaking in their own native language.
Take for instance all this hatred and animosity towards any and all images representing the Confederacy. Had people taken the time to learn the truth about the so-called Civil War they would know that it wasn’t about slavery; but since they haven’t they base their opinions and beliefs about those images upon the lies that they have been taught in school. Anyone who tries to correct their misconceptions about this period of American History is then automatically called racist or prejudiced…all because people refuse to accept the truth.
I can’t count the times that I’ve been called names; such as racist, sexist, or some other name in my political discussions; simply because I have argued from a different position than others. When Barack Obama was running for president I was called racist because I did not support him; and no matter how hard I tried to prove to people that is was not because his skin was black that I didn’t support him, people didn’t want to listen. The same went for when Hillary ran; I was called sexist because I wouldn’t vote for a woman for president. The same goes when I try to discuss illegal immigration; I am called racist or prejudiced because I oppose the opening of our borders and the granting of amnesty to those who have entered our country illegally. If I were racist, why in God’s name would I marry a Filipina?
What matters to me more than anything, (beside the safety of my family and the defense of my rights) is the truth. I don’t care how hard the truth is to swallow, I will seek it out. There have been times that I have struggled to accept the things I have learned, but I would rather change my beliefs than go on living my life believing a lie.
People believe they are free in this country because they don’t see any outward interference in their lives by their government. But one of the most basic rights a man has is the right to his property. Now people believe property means their home or the things they purchase with the money they earn. But property is much more than just these tangible items; it includes all our basic rights as well; including our right to free speech.
In 1792 James Madison wrote an essay on property in which he defines it thusly, “In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces everything to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leave to everyone else the like advantage.
In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property.
In the latter sense, a man has a property in his opinions and the free communications of them.”
But then Madison goes on to say something I want you to think long and hard about, “He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.” Think about that; my liberty and my safety are my property and therefore no one has the right to deprive me of either, nor the means of defending them. As Samuel Adams would say in 1772, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.” (My emphasis)
Do you see what that means, or have you become too ignorant, too obtuse to understand simple English? What that means is that if anyone threatens me, my property, my liberty, I have the right to defend them against the attacker; and this means either society or my government.
How can anyone say that they have liberty when their government can dictate when and under what circumstances they can defend themselves or their property? How can anyone claim that they have liberty when their ability to speak freely is restricted by either laws, or by rules and regulations imposed upon them by society at large; all because people take offense at what is being said?
How can you say that you own property when you are required to pay an annual tribute to government in the form of taxes upon that land; and that you can be evicted from YOUR land if you fail to pay that tribute?
When I grew up one of the TV shows I watched was the Beverly Hillbillies. If you haven’t seen it, it is about a man, Jed Clampett, who finds oil on his land and becomes a millionaire and moves out of the hills to Beverly Hills, California. Unfortunately it is all a farce; for if you were to find oil on your land you would be evicted and the government or oil companies would take possession of your land to drill for oil. Yet you say that you own that land? Not when they can kick you off it when anything valuable is discovered on it. In some places it is illegal to collect the rain that falls upon your land because you don’t own the water rights to that land. If that land was yours, you could live as you pleased upon it; but how many stories have we heard about people going off the grid; living fully self-reliant lives, only to have some government bureaucrat come in and tell them they are in violation of numerous city codes and ordinances, and must either cease and desist their activities or be arrested?
How can you say that you are free to travel to and forth from wherever you want to go when you have to pay an annual tribute for the privilege of operating a motor vehicle? Can you imagine what would have happened in the olden days if those living back then would have been required to annually pay a tax to ride their horses and buggies? Yet we submit to such a fee because we have been conditioned to accept it as a part of living in a regulated society.
How can you say you are free to provide your family with sustenance when you have to obtain a permit or license to hunt or fish? How can you claim to have freedom when you need to get a building permit to do something as simple as pour a concrete pad on your property?
You are required by law to inject your children with all manner of vaccinations at their birth, and before they are allowed to enter the public school system. But if you refuse you are accused of violating the law; and furthermore, since your child cannot attend school your child is accused of truancy. Is that what you call freedom? Damn, I’d hate to see your definition of slavery!
America has forgotten what freedom and liberty are, and because we have we have lost them. We send our children off to these public indoctrination centers, (schools), where their minds are filled with all manner of lies and half-truths. Then they come home and are subjected to television programming that seeks to further indoctrinate them into believing in all manner of things that are diametrically opposed to the principles this country was founded upon.
I don’t care whether Lenin actually said this or not, the basic premise is true regardless, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seeds I have sown will never be uprooted.” While it might take more than four years, if you can teach an entire generation to believe in lies, then those children will grow up and make decisions based upon those lies. The cycle then becomes a self-perpetuating reality; for the lie becomes the truth and nobody is the wiser. That is why those who then come out and speak the truth are condemned; because people have been conditioned to ignore the truth; and to denigrate anyone who speaks it. It is just as Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
And that’s how this all ties in to what Jor-El told his son when he was asked why they didn’t accompany him to Earth. Jor-El knew that had they come they would have brought with them their biases and beliefs and would have sought to indoctrinate young Clark/Kal-El with them. They wanted him to be free of the poisonous beliefs which had led their native Krypton to the brink of destruction.
The thing is, we’re stuck here; there is no place that those of us who truly understand and seek liberty can flee to so that we can begin anew. We are stuck in a society of people who don’t know what liberty is, and who probably wouldn’t take it if it were handed to them on a silver platter.
You see, the thing about liberty is that your success or your failure in life is YOUR responsibility; not societies. There is something that Frederic Bastiat wrote in 1850 that I would now like you to read. It comes from his book The Law, and states, “Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.
But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others.”
I think no truer words have ever been spoken; people, from my experience, are fundamentally lazy. If they can, people would prefer to let others take care of them; provide for their needs. But once this cycle begins the people lose that sense of self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and become dependent upon the system that cares for them.
This goes a long way towards explaining why people would rather dial 911 and await the police to come to their rescue than to take matters into their own hands and defend themselves or their belongings; they have been indoctrinated into believing that is societies, or governments responsibility.
But, as Thomas Jefferson said, “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” Once you become dependent upon something, or someone, you are less likely to do anything that would cause them to cut you off the very things you need to survive; even if you end up having to sacrifice a few of your rights to maintain those benefits.
Not only has America forgot what it means to be truly free, we now teach dependence and unquestioning obedience to authority to our children. They, in turn, grow up and teach these things to their children, and the cycle repeats itself; just as Lenin predicted it would. That is also why John Adams said that liberty once lost is lost forever; when a people forget what liberty means it is difficult to just snatch it back from those who have taken it from you.
In the days of our Founders they were equipped with the same type arms that those who sought to impose tyranny upon them were. Today that is not the case. Look at the guns we are allowed to own and look at those carried by ‘law/tyranny enforcement’ or our military; we are vastly outgunned in that aspect; not to mention the fact that we are surveilled, monitored, and tracked by our government; both inside and outside our homes. Any attempt to wrest our liberty back from the hands of tyrants would be a difficult, if not impossible task in these modern times.
Am I saying we should just lay down and submit to the deprivation of our most basic rights and our liberty? Hell no, I am just saying that we face a serious battle, and only those who are firm of heart will see it through to the end.
As much as I dislike Winston Churchill, there is one thing he said that I agree with, ” If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
With all the increasing attacks upon images and thoughts that run counter to what the politically correct deem to be acceptable speech, I see the time coming when people such as myself come under attack for attempting to disseminate ideas that run counter to what is considered acceptable. There are a great many in this country who believe the next revolution will come when they come after our guns. I don’t believe that to be the case. I believe the next revolution will come when they come to silence those few who speak the truth.
Just know this; the same justification that you use to support the suppression of the things I am saying can quickly be turned around and used to suppress the things you say and believe in. Once the idea that force can be used to suppress ideas you don’t like, it is not hard to imagine a time when your ideas and beliefs become unpopular; and therefore subject to censorship and suppression. And who will defend your freedom of speech if those of us speaking things you currently do not like have all been killed or put in prisons and concentration camps?
Ponder that; unless your mind is unwilling to even consider that scenario…